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Photo Credit: Jiffy Plants
Botanical name: Asplenium nidus
Common names: Bird's Nest Fern, Asplenium Fern
Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) also called Asplenium Fern is a large and bold plant, beautiful enough to be displayed as a focal point plant.
Asplenium Fern fronds are fragile, ensure that they are not crushed and that they have adequate room to develop. Remove dead and damaged fronds so that new ones can grow.
As the plant ages, the older, outer fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain the plant looking neat.
The spear-like leaves in Asplenium Fern which surround the fibrous 'nest' at the center are large and can grow up to 3 ft long. When grown indoors, the Fern can grow to a height of 2 ft.
Asplenium nidus is native to the warm, moist, tropical rain forests of East africa and Asia where it grows as an epiphyte. However it adapts well to indoor growing conditions.
Some varieties of Bird's Nest Fern include;
Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' which bears sword-shaped, ruffled leaves.
Asplenium nidus 'Osaka' which bears narrow, strap-like leaves with rippled edges.
Asplenium nidus 'Antiquum' which bears leaves with wavy margins.
Asplenium nidus 'Victoria' which bears long, wavy, tongue-shaped fronds.
Bird's Nest Ferns in various sizes are available online on Etsy. Buy beautiful Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Flower Power
Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) care indoors is easy when the right growing conditions are provided. Asplenium Fern thrives in bright, indirect light, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well drained soils coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Asplenium nidus requires regular pruning to keep it neat, reduce pest and disease infestations and create enough room for new growth. Young plants need to be repotted annually at the beginning of the growing season but the mature plants are only repotted when pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Bird's Nest Fern grows best in bright, indirect light. Keep the fern away from direct sunlight as it may scorch the fronds.
Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
Asplenium Fern will also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient.
For optimum growth of Asplenium Fern, water it liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings and keep soil evenly moist at all times.
Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the fern.
Avoid wetting the crown as it may lead to crown rot in the Bird's Nest Fern; instead pour the water on the soil or water from below.
The best temperature for growing your Bird's Nest Fern is an average warmth between 15-250C.
Keep Asplenium Fern away from cold draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature as they can cause wilting and curled leaf edges.
Asplenium Fern thrives in high humidity. To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
You can also grow the Asplenium Fern in the high humidity areas of the home like the bathroom and the kitchen if there is adequate lighting.
A closed terrarium is also ideal for growing this fern as a high humidity can be maintained inside a terrarium
Regularly clean the fronds by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to keep them clean and shiny as well as discourage pest infestation.
Feed Bird's Nest Fern with a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing period for lush growth. Do not feed it during the cold season as growth is reduced at this time.
Take care not to overfeed the Asplenium Fern as overfeeding can lead to deformed and spotted leaves.
Do not put fertilizer in the central cup or "nest" as it can burn the delicate foliage or even cause the death of the plant.
Pruning Bird's Nest Fern is easy. Remove dead and damaged fronds so that new ones can grow.
As the Asplenium Fern ages, the older, outer fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain the fern looking neat.
Use a clean sterilized knife or pair of scissors to reduce spread of diseases. Ensure to use a sharp cutting tool to avoid unnecessary injury to the plant as it can promote disease infestation.
Repot a young Asplenium Fern annually at the beginning of the growing season. For mature a plant repot when the the roots fill the pot as they prefer to be slightly root-bound.
Use a pot that is 1 size larger than the current one and one that has drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can cause rotting.
Asplenium Fern can become top-heavy therefore use a heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over. Ascertain that the crown is above the soil surface to prevent the fern from rotting.
The best soil for Bird's Nest Fern should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal. Purchase quality Potting Mix for Asplenium nidus online from Etsy.
Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) can only be propagated from spores obtained from the underside of the mature fronds or through tissue culture.
These methods of propagating Asplenium Fern may not be achievable at the home front; in which case propagation is better left to the experts.
Photo Credit: Plant Hawaii
Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) may experience some problems indoors caused by improper care. The problems include yellowing, death, stunted growth, leaf spots, pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Brown dots or lines on the underside of your Bird's Nest Fern are spores which can be used for propagation. They indicate that the frond is mature and healthy.
The cause of yellowing fronds, brown tips and no growth in Bird's Nest Fern is too dry air (low humidity).
To raise humidity for the Asplenium Fern, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
Pale fronds and scorch marks in Bird's Nest Fern are caused by exposure of the fern to hot direct sunlight.
Shield the Asplenium Fern from direct sunlight or move it to a shaded place where it will receive bright, indirect light but away from direct sunlight.
Yellowing and brown spots on mature fronds in Bird's Nest Fern is too warm air caused by hot drafts (air).
Move the fern to a cooler place away from hot drafts like heat vents and hot surfaces.
If the Bird's Nest Fern is also wilting and limpy fronds, then incorrect watering is the cause of yellowing and brown spots on mature fronds followed by leaf drop.
Water the fern liberally during the growing season while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings to maintain the soil moist at all times.
Cut down on watering in the cold period but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Overwatering or soggy soil are the causes of yellowing fronds in Bird's Nest Fern. Too much water in the soil will cause the roots to begin dying. As such, the plant cannot deliver water to the fronds which turn yellow and eventually die.
Maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings but never allow the soil to get soggy.
Decrease watering in the cold period to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time.
Also, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil drains easily to prevent it from staying too wet.
There are two possible causes of the fronds die back in Bird's Nest Fern. One possible cause is dry air (low humidity).
To elevate the humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow the fern in a bathroom and other moist areas in the home. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
The second possible cause of the fronds die back in Asplenium Fern is too dry soil due to underwatering.
Asplenium Fern requires that the soil be maintained moist at all times during the growing season.
Lessen watering in the cold period to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
There are two possible causes of pale fronds and weak growth in Bird's Nest Fern. One possible cause is underfeeding of the fern.
Feed the Asplenium Fern with a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month through out the growing period but do not feed it during the cold period as growth is minimal.
The second possible cause of pale fronds and weak growth in Bird's Nest Fern is too little light as it grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.
Position the fern in a brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.
Brown hairy fuzz on the fronds of Bird's Nest Fern is harmless. As new fronds emerge from the nest, they bring up some brown fuzz from the nest which sticks on the fronds.
You can remove the brown fuzz from the fronds by gently brushing it off. Or you can choose to leave it alone as it will eventually dry out to become dust-like.
Brown shells scattered on the fronds of Bird's Nest Fern are an indication of a infestation by Scale Insects.
Isolate the affected fern to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
Wipe them off with a damp soft cloth or a cotton bud dabbed or discard the fern if it is heavily infested. Avoid chemical use as chemicals can easily destroy the fern.
Bird's Nest Ferns (Asplenium nidus) are non-toxic to humans and pets as they have not been listed by ASPCA to be among the toxic plants. The plants are safe to grow indoors.